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Comparative literature is the study of literature across languages, cultures, time periods, and genres as well as the study of the relationship between literature and other fields of knowledge.  Such study promotes an understanding of intercultural or cross-cultural relations and helps to foster a more international or cosmopolitan perspective of both literature and the world and, in turn, of one’s own literature and culture.

The major in comparative literature is designed to teach students to:

  • Think, read, and write comparatively, that is, to analyze similarities, differences, relations, and connections between and among texts—including but not limited to linguistic, cultural, temporal, and generic—and between and among other disciplines.
  • Engage in both close reading, with a focus on textuality, and critical reading, with a focus on analysis, of literary and critical texts in their original languages.
  • Apply proficiency of at least one language other than English to analysis and interpretation of texts.
  • Be familiar with the major contemporary schools of literary theory and with at least one in depth, and to use these theories creatively and appropriately in their own work.

What our students love about Comparative Literature

  • "The open, intelligent, and engaging class discussions."
  • "The professors are the best, and the small size makes for great opportunities."
  • "The awesome courses and the awesome professors!"
  • "The focus on specificity and critical analysis of texts."
  • "It provides a way to combine foreign language studies with literary analysis."
  • "Flexible class requirements allow for  pursuit of individual interests."
  • "It combines my interests in language, literature, and culture."
  • "The opportunities for study abroad."